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Impulse Technology Ltd. v. Microsoft Corporation et al
U.S. District Court, District of Delaware
Case No. 11-cv-00586, Filed July 1, 2011

Impulse Technology, an Ohio-based company, sued Microsoft Corp in Delaware yesterday, alleging that the Xbox Kinect game console infringed on seven of Impulse’s patents for technology that tracks users’ movements and lets them play video games without a controller. The patents in suit are U.S. Patent Nos. 6,308,565; 6,430,997; 6,765,726; 6,876,496; 7,359,121; and 7,791,808 describing a “System and method for tracking and assessing movement skills in multidimensional space,” and U.S. Patent No. 6,749,432 covering an “Education system challenging a subject’s physiologic and kinesthetic systems to synergistically enhance cognitive function."

The complaint alleges that Impulse informed Microsoft of their patents before the suit, and told them that these patents covered a “wide variety of games where the movement of a player is tracked in three dimensions ... and certain exercise games where the motion of the player is tracked to effect movement of a virtual avatar, and the exertion of the user is monitored, including where the tracking of the player is done by use of a camera.” The suit claims that Microsoft is willfully infringing these patents, and alleges direct, inducing, and contributory infringement.

In addition to Microsoft, a slew of other companies who make games for Xbox were named as defendants. Eight video game makers, including EA, Sega, and Konami, stand accused of making exercise games, sports games and other games designed for the Kinect system that violate Impulse’s technology. Impulse alleges that like Microsoft, these companies are guilty of making, selling and importing into the U.S., games that infringe several of their patents.
Impulse is seeking a permanent injunction, damages, treble damages, interest, attorneys’ fees and costs. According to Law360, a representative for Microsoft said the company is reviewing the complaint and had no comment.


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